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Steel Industry

Volume 977: debated on Thursday 31 January 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry what proportion of the cost of making basic iron and steel consists of (a) repayment of capital and interest, (b) depreciation, (c) bought-in materials, (d) other overhead charges including labour overheads and (e) variable labour charges.

The information is as follows:

COSTS OF IRON AND STEEL MAKING ACCOUNTED FOR BY:
Percentage
a) Repayment of Interest6
b) Depreciation
c) Bought-in materials, fuels and utilities52
d) Wages, salaries and other employment costs29
e) Other overheads and costs

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what is his estimate of the increase in the labour force in the steel industry required to produce the amount of steel now imported from the EEC Six net of imports from the EEC Six; what would be the consequent addition to the wage bill of the industry, if any; what would be the approximate additional cost to the industry in producing that amount of steel; and how this compares with the balance of payments cost of the net imports.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will state the gains or losses for each year since 1970 of the main steel plants in (a) West Germany, (b) France, (c) Italy, (d) Belgium, (e) Luxembourg, (f) the United Kingdom and (g) the United States of America, giving both total gains or losses and gains or losses before charging interest, tax or extraordinary items; and what information he has about State aids to each of these plants.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what has been the level of earnings of the main grades of steel workers each year since 1970, both at current prices and at 1980 prices; what has been the percentage increase during each of these years in each of these two services; and what information he has on the comparable figures in (a) West Germany, (b) France, (c) Italy, (d) the United States of America and (e) Japan.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry why, in the light of the statement by Commissioner Vredeling that generous sums are available to assist the British Steel Corporation, no application for such support from the social fund has yet been made by the United Kingdom.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what discussions he has had with the EEC Commission in Brussels about the pace and extent of the rundown of the British Steel Corporation; whether the Commission agrees with the current plans of the British Steel Corporation; and if he will make a statement.